Sunscreen filters table: Safety, absorption, allergy, range

I’ve decided to create a sunscreen filters table where I could show some accessible information about most common sunscreen actives. The different colums show different information:

  • Range: Shows the different types of UV rays that it can protect.
  • Free radicals: Shows if the sunscreen filter is likely to increase free radical damage in the skin.
  • Photodegradation: Shows if the sunscreen degrades when it’s exposed to sun.
  • Absorption: Shows if the sunscreen can penetrate skin easily and be absorbed inside the body.
  • Allergies: Shows if the sunscreen it’s likely to induce allergies in some people. That a sunscreen allergy column is marked as yes does not mean that it will induce an allergy in everyone, it just mean that it’s more likely to induce an allergy than other sunscreen filters.

Physical sunscreen types

Filter nameRangeFree radicalsPhotodegradation Absorption  Allergy
Zinc oxideUVA1, UVA2, UVB SomeNoLowNo
Titanium dioxideUVA2, UVBYesNo?No
Iron oxideHEV???No

Chemical sunscreen types

Filter nameRangeFree radicalsPhotodegradationAbsorptionAllergy
Tinosorb MUVA1, UVA2, UVB, HEVNoNoNoNo
Tinosorb SUVA1, UVA2, UVB NoNoNoNo
Tinosorb A2BUVA2, UVBNoNoNoNo
Mexoryl XLUVA1, UVA2, UVB?NoNoNo
Uvinul A PlusUVA1, UVA2NoNoNoNo
Uvinul T150 / Ethylhexyl triazoneUVBNoVery lowNoNo
Uvasorb HEBUVB, UVA1?NoNoNo
Mexoryl SXUVA1, UVA2No
NoNoNo
AvobenzoneUVA1, UVA2NoYesYesYes
Neo Heliopan APUVA2NoNoNoNo
OctocryleneUVBYesNoYesYes
Octisalate / Ethylhexyl salicylateUVBNoLowNoNo
HomosalateUVB??YesNo
OxybenzoneUVA2, UVBYesNoYesYes
OctinoxateUVBYesYesYesNo
Parsol SLXUVBNoNoNoYes
AmiloxateUVB?YesNoNo
Phenylbenzimidazole sulfonic acid (Ensulizole)UVBYesYes?No
DioxybenzoneUVA2, UVB????
CinoxateUVB????

*If a filter has low probabilities of cause an allergie, free radicals, absortion… it will be marked as no.

*Some filters become more stable when are combined with other sunscreen, this can help neutralice free radicals and photodegradation. Also, some combinations could increase the risk of free radical damage, photodegradation…

Reef unsafe sunscreen ingredients

All of the above ingredients are know to kill or bleach coral reefs and to cause problems to the sea enviroment, not all of them are sunscreen fiters and worst ones are written in bold:

  • Oxybenzone: It can cause coral bleaching and inhibite its grow.
  • Octinoxate: It can cause coral bleaching.
  • Butylparaben
  • Petrolatum (Mineral oil): It takes years to biodegrade and is known to be harmful to aquatic enviroment.
  • 4-methylbenzylidene camphor
  • Octocrylene: Has some toxic effects to some species.
  • Zinc oxide and titanium oxide nanoparticles: Take time to biodegrade and titanium dioxide does not biodegrade and is harmful for sea life.

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